Ernest Bai Koroma

Ernest Bai Koroma

Infobox President
name = Ernest Bai Koroma
nationality = Sierra Leonean

caption =
order = 4th President of Sierra Leone.
vicepresident = Samuel Sam-Sumana
term_start = 17 September 2007
term_end =
predecessor = Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
successor =
religion = Christian

birth_date = Birth date and age|1953|10|02|df=yes
birth_place = Makeni, Bombali District, Sierra Leone
death_date =
death_place =
spouse = Sia Nyama Koroma
children = Alice and Danke Koroma
party = All People's Congress (APC)
residence = State House (official)
Freetown, Sierra Leone
alma_mater = Fourah Bay College
profession = Businessman, politician
religion = Christianity
order2 =
president2 =
term_start2 =
term_end2 =
predecessor2 =
successor2 =
website = (official government website) (official website)

Ernest Bai Koroma (born October 2, 1953) is the current President of Sierra Leone. He was sworn in as president on 17 September, 2007, a few hours after being declared the winner of a tense run-off election with 54.6% of the vote over the incumbent vice-president Solomon Berewa of the then ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) who won 45.4% and conceded defeat. International and local observers assessed the election as free, fair and credible [] . Koroma is the leader of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) and was APC minority leader in parliament from Bombali District prior to becoming President.

Koroma was formally inaugurated in Freetown on November 15 2007 at a ceremony attended by five other African leaders. In attendance were Nigerian president Umaru Yar'Adua, Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, Gambian president Yahya Jammeh and Burkina Faso's president Blaise Compaoré. In his inauguration speech, Koroma promised to fight corruption and would not spare even members of his own family should they be caught in corrupt act. In his speech president Koroma also said that he wanted to run Sierra Leone like a business concern", emphasize agriculture and tourism.

Youth and Education

Koroma was born on 2 October 1953, in Makeni, Bombali District in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. He is the eldest son of seven children. Koroma was born to an ethnic Temne father and to an ethnic Limba mother from Kamabai, Bombali District. Koroma was born of Christian parentage from the predominant Muslim north and a devout Christian himself. Koroma attended the Sierra Leone Church Primary School in Makeni, and then the Government Secondary School for Boys in Magburaka, Tonkolili District. He attended Fourah Bay College in Freetown, from which he graduated in 1976. After graduating, Koroma taught briefly at the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni and then joined the Sierra Leone National Insurance Company in 1978. In 1985, he joined the Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation (Ritcorp), and in 1988, he became Managing Director of Ritcorp, remaining in that position for 14 years.Mohamed Samura, [ "Profile: Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone’s new head of state"] , African Press Agency, October 1, 2007.]

Political career

Koroma was elected as the leader of the APC on March 24, 2002, at a national convention of the party. He was expected to be one of seven candidates, but five of them were not present for the election, and the remaining candidate appeared only briefly. Unopposed, Koroma received 370 votes from delegates, while 12 delegates voted against him and the remainder abstained. [ [ Sierra Leone News Archives, March 2002] ,]

2002 presidential and parliamentary elections

Koroma was the APC presidential candidate in the 2002 general elections, which solidified the APC as the main opposition party. He received 22.3% of the vote as the APC's candidate in the presidential election, losing to incumbent president Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), who received about 70%. [ [ "SIERRA LEONE: New cabinet announced"] , IRIN-WA Weekly Roundup 124, 18 - 24 May 2002.] In the parliamentary election, Koroma was elected to a seat from Bombali District. [ [ Sierra Leone News Archives, May 2002] ,]

Koroma continued as leader of the APC until being stripped of the position by the Supreme Court in June 2005, only to be reinstated in that position in September of that year.Fact|date=January 2008 The internal party dispute was said to be resolved in April 2007, with Koroma being accepted by APC dissidents as the party's leader ahead of the 2007 election. [Sayoh Kamara, [ "APC Gets Final Peace in Sierra Leone"] , "Awareness Times", April 5, 2007.] [ [ "Sierra Leone’s main opposition party settles internal dispute"] , African Press Agency, April 6, 2007.]


Koroma was the APC presidential candidate in the August 2007 elections. He was allegedly the target of an assassination attempt in the early hours of July 23 2007, when, according to the APC, a group of armed men led by Tom Nyuma, who was a participant in the 1992 coup that ousted the APC from power, attempted to enter his hotel room in the country's second largest city of Bo to kill him. [Alpha Kanu, [ "Statement issued by the All People's Congress in Sierra Leone"] , "Awareness Times" (, July 24, 2007.] Nyuma was severely beaten by Koroma's guards, and he was hospitalized as a result. [James Butty, [ "Sierra Leone Investigates Alleged Attempted Assassination"] , VOA News, July 24, 2007.] According to another version of events, however, there was no assassination attempt and the claim was invented to justify the beating of Nyuma. [Sia Tiyaama, [ "Prof. Sia Tiyaama Exposes Assassination Hoax Timeline of APC & Standard Times in Sierra Leone"] , "Awareness Times", July 27, 2007.]

In the first round of the 2007 presidential election in Sierra Leone, held on August 11, Koroma garnered 44.3% of the votes, ahead of Solomon Berewa of the ruling SLPP, who received 38.3%. This was not enough to win outright, [ "Freetown opposition party wins majority"] , Reuters ("IOL"), August 24, 2007.] and a run-off election was held on September 8. [ [ "Presidential runoff in Sierra Leone went smoothly, observers say, urging calm as votes counted"] , Associated Press ("International Herald Tribune"), September 9, 2007.]

In an interview with Reuters on September 13, Koroma said that he wanted to run the country "like a business concern", emphasize agriculture and tourism rather than mining, and fight firmly against corruption. [Katrina Manson, [ "SLeone leader vows to fight corruption"] , Reuters ("IOL"), September 14, 2007.]

On September 17, the Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission declared Koroma to be the winner of the election with 54.6% of the vote, [Rod MacJohnson, [ "Sierra Leone gets a new leader"] , AFP ("The Times", South Africa), September 17, 2007.] although the SLPP disputed the results. [ [ "S Leone run-off results questioned"] , Al Jazeera, September 16, 2007.] He was sworn in later on the same day [Katrina Manson and Christo Johnson, [ "Koroma pledges healing in Sierra Leone"] , Reuters ("IOL"), September 18, 2007.] at a ceremony attended by Berewa and Kabbah. [ [ "Sierra Leone's new leader sworn in"] , Al Jazeera, September 18, 2007.]

On September 21, Koroma left Sierra Leone for a diplomatic visit to neighboring Guinea and Liberia, his first trip outside the country as President. [Saliou Samb, [ "New leader seeks deeper regional ties"] , Reuters ("IOL"), September 21, 2007.]

Koroma has taken a notably long time to name his Cabinet ministers, and has done so in stages. [ "Sierra Leonean leader’s piecemeal cabinet appointments"] , African Press Agency, October 16, 2007.] The first group of 10 ministers was named on October 8, [ "New Sierra Leonean leader appoints first cabinet"] , African Press Agency, October 9, 2007.] and another 10 were named on October 12. [ [ "Sierra Leone: Ten more new cabinet appointments made"] , African Press Agency, October 13, 2007.] According to Koroma, he is willing to take additional time to find the right people; others, however, have speculated that the delay is due to maneuvering in the APC for Cabinet positions.

Koroma was formally inaugurated in Freetown on November 15 2007 [ "Sierra Leone's New President Inaugurated"] , VOA News, November 15, 2007.] at a ceremony attended by five other African leaders. [ "SL leader pledges graft crackdown"] , BBC News, November 15, 2007.] On this occasion, he promised to fight corruption and emphasized the importance of changing people's attitudes towards corruption.

Personal life

Ernest Bai Koroma is married to Sia Koroma, a biochemist and a native of Kono District. Together they have two children, Alice and Danke Koroma.


main|Cabinet of Sierra Leone

External links



ee also

* Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-IV), 2008.

External links

* [ Profile of Sierra Leone's leader: Ernest Bai Koroma]

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